Fausto Rivera is a community lender at Forward Community Investments. He joined FCI two years ago after more than eight years as a commercial lender at the Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Agency here he administered and managed $10 million in Loan Guarantees, $35 million in New Markets Tax Credits, $22 million in State Small Business Credit Initiatives, $6 million in Loan Participation and $12.5 million in Low Income Housing Tax Credits. He’s also worked as a small business loan officer at the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation and a financial representative at Northwestern Mutual. A native of Honduras, he earned a degree in business administration from the University of Wisconsin in 2008.
Gloria Castillo Posada is Customer Engagement and Community Services Manager at MGE, a role she took on last year after nearly two years as a commercial account representative. She joined MGE after stints as the Race and Gender Equity Coordinator at YWCA Madison and Sustainable Communities Director at Sustain Dane. She earned a degree in ecology from Pontificia Universidad Javeriana in Colombia and a master’s degree in environment and resources, as well as a certificate in gender and women’s studies, from the UW-Madison.
Gerardo Jimenez is a realtor and real estate developer with The Enz Jimenez Group, and affiliated with Sprinkman Real Estate. He’s been one of the Madison area’s top realtors over the past 10 years. In addition to brokerage, Gerardo has built and remodeled over 100 homes in collaboration with builders and clients. Gerardo graduated from Penn State in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry.
Denisse Pachuca is senior regional manager of the Zero Barriers to Business program at BMO Harris Bank, where she works to equip Black and brown business owners with access to capital, educational resources and partnerships with other local organizations. She’s worked with BMO for more than 10 years as a branch manager and business banking relationship manager. Prior to joining BMO she spent four years at Associated Bank and four years at Wells Fargo. She earned a degree in mathematics from Marquette University in 2003.
María Díaz is founder of Ballet Folklórico de María Díaz, a Madison-based troupe that started when she taught two local girls the folk dances that she had learned as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Now the group has about 15 members at a time, touring the region and performing for public and private events. Born in Minnesota, she graduated from Madison East High School, where she has worked for the past 25 years. She is currently the assistant lead for school security there.
Alejandro Roldán is a nurse practitioner at Advocate Aurora Health and an adjunct faculty instructor at Marquette University. He is also a member of the board of directors and academic liaison for the Greater Milwaukee chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Nurses Milwaukee. With his wife he has his own custom t-shirt business and is starting a nonprofit to address neurodiversity in the Latino community. He earned his nursing degree from Herzing University and master’s degree at Concordia.
Amanda Martinez is a program and engagement coordinator at Kids Forward, representing the Madison-based organization in Northeast Wisconsin. As a first-generation and proud daughter of immigrant parents, she was the first in her family to navigate various systems, learning firsthand how those systems often work against allowing communities of color and immigrant communities to thrive. These experiences inspired her to enter the field of social work. Amanda holds a Bachelor of Social Work from the UW-Oshkosh and Master of Social Work from the UW-Madison with a focus on child, youth, and family policy.
Maria Amalia Wood is a textile artist and art teacher at Lighthouse Christian School. For the past seven years, Maria Amalia has been creating paper and textile objects that refer to memories of lived experiences. While constantly honing her ability to intelligently compose, Maria Amalia has developed a process for manipulating the wet pulp that allows her to work freely, creating marks and passages that evolve organically through a repetitive process of building an image with layered, ripped, painted, and collaged forms resulting in complex surfaces that carry rich color and texture passages. She was the inaugural Artist in Reisdence at Pinney Library in Madison in 2021. She holds a bachelor’s degree in General Art with a minor in Visual Communications from Judson University and an MFA in Textile Art and Design from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Before earning her MFA in 2018, she accumulated more than 15 years of experience working with craft communities in Latin America in product development.
Who’d we miss? Let us know who should be on next year’s list by emailing [email protected]!